Brooks Atwood Joins R&A Architecture + Design as Director of Design

Award-Winning Designer Adds Versatile, Innovative Approach to Rapidly Growing Firm

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(L) Brooks T. Atwood, IDSA, IIDA, joins R&A Architecture + Design as Director of Design. Photo: Clayton Cubitt. (R) The firm’s latest Los Angeles-area project. Image courtesy of R&A Architecture + Design. Click here for high-resolution images.

LOS ANGELES: R&A Architecture + Design announces that Brooks T. Atwood, IDSA, IIDA, has joined the firm as Director of Design.  Atwood is an award-winning designer and educator who has attained international success in the fields of architecture, industrial design, and interior environments.  His cutting-edge designs have earned him the distinction of being named one of six emerging designers in 2013 by the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City.  His popular TEDx talks include “Collaborative Opportunities are Everywhere” and “Design Like You Mean It!”

“Brooks will push our work in new directions,” says R&A Architecture + Design principal and founder Christian Robert, AIA, IIDA, NCARB, LEED AP.  “He believes collaboration with different disciplines and cultures is essential to innovation, and his process-based approach will help keep our practice on track to expand to more experimental and diverse types of projects.”

R&A Architecture + Design has seen rapid growth—from five employees in 2012 to almost 30 staff members today.  “Adding to our design leadership bolsters R&A’s abilities to serve our diverse client base,” adds principal and founder Benjamin Anderson, Assoc. AIA.

Before joining R&A, Atwood led Brooks Atwood Design, a Brooklyn-based studio that combined design, innovation, and technology to challenge disciplinary norms.  Among the firm’s notable projects are the HUS boutique, a Scandinavian design store in New York; the SWELL Live Music Experience in Melbourne, Australia; the Ultimate Bachelor Pad for Esquire magazine; and Center for Hearing & Communication, Listening Studio & Devices Center, New York.

“Los Angeles is a city ripe with possibilities,” says Atwood of his move to the West Coast.  “The design communities here are open to experimentation and innovation to serve ideas and purpose—not merely for their own sakes.”

As a professor at The New School’s Parsons School of Design and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Atwood led collaborative teams that brought together technologies, designers, and business leaders into a common space of possibility.  At NJIT, he served as assistant director of the Idea Factory, a think-tank for developing innovative approaches to healthy buildings, medical devices, materials, and products.  Atwood’s own designs for chairs, lighting, and cutlery have won numerous awards, and his Ripple Mirror for Fab.com is now sold at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

His early collaborative work—bridging advanced computation with traditional visual art—is represented in the permanent collection at the Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, Korea, as well as by exhibitions in Berlin, Milan, New York City, and Seoul.

Atwood received a Master of Science degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation in 2003.  He was valedictorian at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1999.  While at IIT, he spent a year studying at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts via L’Ecole de L’Architecture Paris Val de Seine.  Before starting his own firm, Atwood worked for architecture firms in New York and Chicago on projects ranging from high-rise residential and hospitality buildings to designs for McDonald’s restaurants.

R&A Architecture + Design is a young, energetic firm focused on creative solutions in multiple scales and typologies, including commercial, hospitality, residential, and mixed-use.  With offices in Culver City, CA, and Portland, OR, the firm has grown rapidly from a studio of five to more than 35 since its inception.  Founded in 2013 by two award-winning Principals, Christian Robert, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, and Benjamin Anderson, Assoc. AIA, and joined by Principal Shawn Gehle in 2017, R&A globally leverages a broad portfolio of experience in transformative architecture and interiors projects.